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Mark Adamo: Little Women / Summers/Houston Opera, Novacek, DiDonato [Blu-Ray]

Album Summary

>Adamo, Mark : Little Women, opera
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Based on Louisa May Alcott's enduringly popular novel about the adventures of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy in civil-war era New England, Mark Adamo's opera 'Little Women' has been performed in more than 70 national and international engagements since its 1998 première by Houston Grand Opera and has achieved the status of an American classic. This recording, with a superb cast expertly directed for television, vividly brings to life an opera that The New Yorker hailed as "A beautifully crafted work, brilliantly molding Alcott's tale into operatic form," and The New York Times dubbed a "masterpiece".

"Now, in a splendidly crafted production from the Houston Grand Opera in March 2000, we have the opera, Little Women, composed in direct lineage of Samuel Barber’s opera, Venessa... Back in 2000 the glittering career of Joyce DiDonato was just beginning, her beautifully focused soprano making a charming Meg, Stacey Tappan and Margaret Lloyd complete the four sisters. Chad Shelton’s Laurie and Daniel Belcher make highly plausible young lovers. There are two minor male roles: Derreck Parker as Dashwood, and Chen-Ye Yuan as Jo’s eventual lover, Friedrich, their singing right out of the top drawer. The chamber orchestra of Houston Opera is admirable under the conductor, Patrick Summers, and the television director, Brian Large, again scores a triumph. It also comes on Blu-ray (NXS 0007). Hugely recommended." -David's Review Corner

"The full production that appears on this disc, staged in 2000, was later broadcast on PBS’s Great Performances series. This is a chance to own a staged recording of an opera that is performed with greater frequency every year. In the role of Jo, Stephanie Novacek is strong if a bit stoic, and Joyce DiDonato’s performance of Meg leaves no doubt as to why she was recently named Gramophone’s 'Artist of the Year.'" -Music Media Monthly

"Split into two acts, it seems to bring out an honest discourse of Miss Austen’s classic [Little Women was written by Luisa May Alcott, not Jane Austen - Ed] long missing and forgotten by the recent wave of lame, tired, homogenized, flat, dull film versions. Patrick Summers conducts the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, Peter Webster did the stage directing, Brian Large directed the HD shots and the cast out acts big name Hollywood stars as well as being exceptionally gifted singers. Bravo everyone!" -Fulvue Drive-In

"I had long despaired of ever finding a “modern” opera that I actually enjoyed. A welcome exception is Mark Adamo’s “Little Women” that premiered at the Houston Grand Opera in 2000 and was telecast on Public Television... I actually felt involved with the characters, thanks mostly to the fine acting of the cast... I am thinking what a fine seasonal present this DVD would make." -Brattleboro Reformer

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 115 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: Blu-Ray, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English


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Works Details

>Adamo, Mark : Little Women, opera
  • Performers: Daniel Belcher (Baritone); Katherine Ciesinski (Mezzo Soprano); Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano); Gwendolyn Jones (Mezzo Soprano); Margaret Lloyd (Soprano); James Maddalena (Baritone); Stephanie Novacek (Mezzo Soprano); Derrick Parker (Baritone); Chad Shelton (Tenor); Stacey Tappan (Soprano); Chen-Ye Yuan (Baritone)
  • Conductor: Patrick Summers
  • Ensemble: Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1998